Ekindar: “We feel like favorites, but we must not forget that all the teams here are strong”
Participants Virtus.pro They spoke to the press at a conference before the IEM Winter playoffs.
At a tournament in which the best team in the world is absent, the teams in which there are replacements, new squads or those that will soon be changed, the team Virtus.pro She demonstrated her famous consistency and reached the semifinals, where they will play with Vitality on Saturday at 18:00.
In his second tournament after replacing Sanjar SANJI Kuliyev with Evgeny Evgeny FL1T Lebedev Lebedeva, Virtus.pro They beat ENCE, GODSENT and the Gambit Esports team, where the CIS confrontation between Gambit and Virtus pro became the topic of the first question of journalists at the tournament. press conference.
“The addition of FL1T has refreshed us, and we don’t look at our previous results, we approach this team as something new for us,” explained Jami Jame Ali, saying that the game against Gambit was approached like any other match at the event.
Replacing the absolute support of Sanjar SANJI Kuliyev with an outstanding forZe player has never been an easy process, which is obvious from the players who have taken new positions on some maps compared to their first performance at PGL Major, especially on the Mirage map.
“We have an incredibly strong line-up, and every player can take on any role on a map like Mirage, so I think the current line-up is not final yet,” Virtus told IGL about James when asked about the roles. “In general, a card like Mirage has been played 1000 times, there is nothing problematic in making any permutations. I think that for one game everyone can change positions.”
Bypassing the question of positions, the question of how the team’s style will develop with an upgrade of firepower, such as FL1T, was a curious topic. In his guest appearance on HLTV Confirmed during PGL Major, Marek YEKINDAR Galinskis spoke about the team’s style adapted to the available details, and Virtus.pro seemed faster and more aggressive during IEM Winter. Jame doesn’t think the style change has necessarily happened.
“Maybe on the screen it looks like it’s a faster style of play, but we’ve just started to find entry kills and exchanges that help us take zones. Previously, we could not find such entrys, we were looking for the locations of the full team. But now, due to the improvement of our firepower, we often win duels and thereby gain control of the map and are not afraid to take risks.”
Dan apEX Madeskler’s comment that Jame “saves more often than he does an entry kill” was asked by the Virtus team’s AWPer about Jame during a press conference, but the Russian remained cool-headed as he answers this question with his save. “I’m not sure if he really counted all these moments with his facts. I think he was just trying to throw a stone in my garden.
Virtus.pro they are known for playing long, drawn-out matches, but often win in these difficult overtime cases. At IEM Winter, four of the five cards went through 30 or more rounds, but eventually reached the semifinals without losing a single one.
Explaining their close games at the event, YEKINDAR talked about the experience they are still getting from FL1T, which led to some matches being closer than expected. “But in general we have a lot of close matches, because,” he sighs deeply before continuing, “we save.”
The whole team laughed when the Latvian gave the answer, pausing before explaining in detail why the team, known for its saves, also plays the longest games.
“I think it makes sense. We value our lives and our weapons more than other teams. When teams lose 7:16, it means that they went for a 2-on-3 retake, and by losing such a round, they also lost the economic war. it went the other way around, and they won 2 on 3 and won 16: 7. We prefer to play more carefully.”
Of the remaining four teams , y Virtus.pro there are fewer problems right now. Are they favorites for the title? EKINDAR thinks so.
“We really feel like favorites, but we can’t forget that all the teams here are strong, even though they have different problems with substitutions, language barriers, problems with new players, and then Vitality – I think they may even feel a little better, because they know that this is their last tournament, they will give everything. We feel that we are capable of winning this tournament, we are not afraid of any team, and in general we just think that if we are not careful, we can lose to any of these teams too. We’re just going to focus, no matter what their problems are.”